Been engaged in one of those run and gun no holds barred discussions with a person who favors the legalization of drugs on the rez – not just pot which is as much a drug as nicotine, but all drugs.
Says it’s inevitable and cites the growing prevalence of drugs on the rez and throughout the nation.
To me it amounts to the same thing as saying diabetes is prevalent on the rez so everyone might as well become a diabetic.
Their theory is that if all drugs are legal that will somehow translate to the demise of gangs and additionally there would be an economic boom.
An interesting theory, you replace the evil of gangs with the evil of drug addiction and all that is associated with it and additionally sell the future of children as a way to leverage an economic boom.
Seems like I’ve heard something similar elsewhere, oh yeah, that thing about voting for the lesser of two evils as though that’s actually a viable choice.
The affects of drug addiction aren’t restricted to the addict, they impact families and entire communities – credit to recovering addicts but as Steppenwolf sang “ God Damn the Pusherman”.
Pot and personal use whether medicinal or “recreational”? I could care less if a person smokes pot as long as there are no negative ripples in the pond – thing is don’t even think about bringing it or any drug around me or mine.
Alcohol is another issue, if a person drinks that’s their choice, no harm no foul as long as they don’t get stupid about it or it affects the quality of life of children and family if they have one – another “banned” substance when it comes to proximity to me and mine.
It’s been my experience people generally drink to get drunk, they refer to that as having a good time until the next morning when they’re staring face down at the water in the toilet bowl – in essence they spent money to feel bad and the toilet episode is the bodies reaction to rid itself of resulting toxic elements.
But then there’s next weekend when another “good time” beckons, ad infinitum.
Thing is a lack of balance that exists – extremes are a national pastime.
Pot and alcohol are gateway drugs, a gate not everyone enters but enough who do that talk of an across the board legalization amounts to a form of either insanity, profound ignorance, or an acute addiction.
The “advocate” I’ve been discussing this with when asked if they would be alright with their children using drugs or alcohol began to flounder.
That led to some verbal stumbling around and ultimately in a transparent effort to maintain their position responded at a certain age.
So I asked what age would that be, pre teen,teen, or post teen?
They replied post teen as they would then be mature enough to make a decision.
I don’t believe making a decision that can lead to addiction is mature – I don’t believe deciding to knowingly ingest toxins is a mature decision either.
What you do in front of children is an example, there’s a conditioning factor to it – relaxing with a drink at the end of the day, having a glass of wine with supper, or a couple of beers during a football game is entirely different than flopping on the couch guzzling one beer after another or emptying a bottle a booze.
Staggering around a club or puking on yourself is neither attractive or demonstrative of a good time, nor is having passed out on the sidewalk, sleeping in a doorway, the DT’s, or panhandling to get enough for a cheap bottle of rot gut.
Drink responsibly or smoke pot responsibly not a problem, but the key word is responsibility – which I believe people are capable of in both cases.
I’ve been in too many homes among our people that look like the local landfill blew up, beer cans and wine bottles strewn about, even syringes, unattended children having to pretty much fend for themselves or do without with brawling parents in or near a state of stupor to entertain any argument about legalizing anything and everything.
I’ve seen too many of our young girls and women selling themselves to get drunk or get high, too many beaten and raped in their pursuit of a “good time”.
Seen too many people “with tombstones in their eyes” and too many tombstones.
And that bullshit about as a people pot was a traditional “sacred herb” used in ceremonies is exactly that, bullshit.
We don’t police our communities anymore as we once did, we pay a lot of lip service to the sacred nature of children, women, the land, and tradition but for an unacceptable number of individuals it’s lip service and little else, something to upload on youtube.
And that is a prime example of the oft employed and reviled words of “colonization” and assimilation.
Gangs? Run them to the ground and throw them out – if they want to claim enrollment and native pride then they need to act as though they understand the meaning or they can take their turf wars, grafitti, juvenile “signs” and dealing elsewhere.
If a court wants to intervene as a matter of the banned’s “rights” then tell the court to take a hike, this is ndn land, our people, our communities, our children, our elders, where the “rights” of individuals were always predicated on communal welfare, a long held tradition that worked generation after generation.
Alcoholics or drug addicts? Create a way for them to restore themselves, to regain some pride – help them rebuild their life and return to traditional values.
Help their families and loved ones to recover from the negative impact they endured.
This is a topic a lot of people shy away from, it’s too unsettling, too embarrassing, it flies in the face of romantic imagery – a topic about a reality I’m not enamored of, but also a topic that demands attention and discussion whether unsettling or not.